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Defence wins championships, says Griezmann ahead of Euro 2024

The 33-year-old had no concerns about team mate Kylian Mbappe, who left Paris St Germain at the end of the season and has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid.
Last Updated : 31 May 2024, 09:08 IST
Last Updated : 31 May 2024, 09:08 IST

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France will look to Antoine Griezmann for goals at Euro 2024 this summer but the Atletico Madrid forward says their chances of success in Germany will depend on how tight they keep things at the back.

Champions in 1984 and 2000, France were denied a third title in 2016 when they lost the final 1-0 to Portugal after extra time, a defeat Griezmann says hurt him "enormously".

"We were so close," he said in a press conference on Thursday.

"It was the same thing at the last European Championship, with the penalties," he added of their Euro 2020 shootout defeat by Switzerland in the round of 16.

"I have a lot of desire and a lot of ambition. But we will have to prove it on the pitch. For me, the key, even if it's always very boring, is going to be the defence, a solid team, tough during challenges, and very good defensively."

The 33-year-old had no concerns about team mate Kylian Mbappe, who left Paris St Germain at the end of the season and has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid.

"I think (Mbappe) knows how to keep things in perspective ... even if it's hard, let's talk less about it and concentrate solely on the French team," he said.

"We know him as a player and how important he is to us. It's up to us as team mates, French media and French fans to put him in the best possible condition."

With Paris hosting the Olympic Games in less than two months' time, Griezmann said he would love to represent France but that his club side were reluctant to release him.

"It will be decided in the final moments, but there's nothing else I can do," he added. "Will this jeopardise my future at Atletico? Absolutely not."

France, who next play friendly matches against Luxembourg (June 5) and Canada (June 9), are grouped with Poland, Netherlands and Austria at Euro 2024, which begins on June 14.

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Published 31 May 2024, 09:08 IST

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